How Technical Skills Assessments Improve the Hiring Process

12:00 AM on December 17, 2020 | Technical Recruiting

Pre-hire assessments are an increasingly popular recruitment tool used to evaluate candidates for technical positions of all levels. By introducing technical assessments into your recruiting process, you can expect to hire top-tier talent while saving time and money. First, let’s understand what skills assessments are and why companies use them.


What is a Pre-Hire Skills Assessment?

Pre-hire skills assessments are designed to test candidates’ code skills or evaluate how they work through a real-world problem during the recruitment process. Employers design these assessments to ensure candidates have the knowledge and skills necessary to complete a job. While pre-hire skills assessments have traditionally been used for senior-level positions, there has been a shift towards using them for any level.

Recruiters may decide to use simple code tests as screening questions for applicants before the interview process begins. This allows them to focus on the candidates who are familiar with the languages or skills required to perform the job.

Alternatively, employers might decide to use more in-depth skills assessments or real-world simulations in late-stage interviews to evaluate the final few candidates. Skills and experience remain the number one priority for hiring managers, and this is a way to select the top-performing candidate.

Who Uses Skills Assessments?

While you might think only enterprise companies are using skills assessments in their recruiting measures, businesses of all sizes implement them. According to Talent Board [1], 58% of employers are assessing candidates based on job-specific skills. Beyond just basic skills assessments, 36% of employers provide real-world simulations for candidates to perform based on job requirements.

While many organizations are likely to implement some form of pre-hire assessments, best-in-class companies are 45% more likely to use them during the recruiting process compared to other organizations [2]. These companies are also more likely to build success profiles, meaning they have a clear understanding of what skills and attributes they seek in a candidate.

Candidates Want Skills Assessments

Skills assessments designed to simulate real-world scenarios, based on a job position, benefit both recruiters and candidates. Candidates prefer these assessments to basic coding tests [3] because they get a hands-on understanding of the work that would be required of them if they were to accept an offer. Candidates are eager to apply their knowledge and experience and demonstrate their skills for potential employers, whether through skills assessments or portfolio reviews.

Save Time and Money with Pre-Hire Assessments

With pre-hire assessments, you can easily identify top candidates. By including skills assessments in the early stages of your recruitment process, you can quickly narrow down a large applicant pool to a select few people to interview.

Surveys have shown that 78% of companies that use these screening tools hire qualified candidates who meet performance goals within their first 12 months [2]. High performing, satisfied employees are more likely to stay with companies longer than unsatisfied hires, leading to increased onboarding costs.

Look out for our blog next week that takes a deep dive on how you can use candidate assessments to shorten your hiring process while saving money!


[1] Zielinski, D. (2019, August 16). Predictive assessments give companies insight into candidates’ potential. SHRM.

[2] Lahey, Z. (2015). Pre-Hire Assessments: An Asset for HR in the Age of the Candidate. Aberdeen Group.

[3] Shen, J. (2018, January 2). A big reason tech candidates don’t get job offers? Weak tech skills. Fast Company.

Megan McHugh

Megan is a Marketing Manager at Codio. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications.